California Highway Patrol Teams Up With Bakersfield to Tackle Crime

California Highway Patrol Teams Up With Bakersfield to Tackle Crime

A suspect is cuffed in Oakland, Calif., as part of the CHP's East Bay operation, in a screenshot from video released April 10, 2024. (California Highway Patrol)

Rudy BlalockTravis Gillmore

Rudy Blalock & Travis Gillmore


Updated: 5/6/2024

California leaders and law enforcement officials have announced a partnership between Bakersfield police and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to tackle crime in the Central Valley.
CHP officers will target auto and retail theft, and assist with “high visibility” and proactive enforcement on roadways, according to an April 24 press release by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
“We are working hand-in-hand with our local law enforcement partners to increase police operations, stop crime and keep the Central Valley safe,” Mr. Newsom said in the announcement.
Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh said the partnership shows the city is committed to keeping residents safe: “By combining resources and expertise, we are enhancing law enforcement capabilities and creating a safe community.”
Kern County is experiencing higher rates of property crime, violent crime, and arrest rates than the statewide averages, according to the officials. Local and state authorities will work together to target areas with the most crime and specifically go after auto and retail theft, they said.
CHP deployments in various cities statewide have so far launched without notice, using the element of surprise on unsuspecting criminals, officials told The Epoch Times in a previous interview.
“We don’t release dates beforehand because we don’t want to alert the criminals,” Jaime Coffee, CHP’s director of communications, told The Epoch Times on Feb. 23.
In Oakland about 120 of CHP officers were deployed in February during a crime wave but left after just one week, with some saying the pullback could be from shortages felt elsewhere.
“We don’t have the number of highway patrol up here that we should have,” Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall told The Epoch Times in an interview at the time. “The governor is pulling resources ... and in the meantime, everyone’s up here screaming at me about people driving like maniacs on the highway.”
Mr. Newsom’s office denied the allegations about the Feb. 5 through Feb. 9 deployment but did not explain why the time was so short, or whether that was intended.
“The focused operation is not impacting the service levels of the surrounding area,” Izzy Gardon, spokesperson for the governor, told The Epoch Times by email on Feb. 23
CHP officials told The Epoch Times that most officers used in Oakland were from task forces and not pulled from other assignments, but also didn’t elaborate on the short timeline.
Bakersfield was awarded $6.2 million last year through the state’s Organized Retail Theft Prevention Grant Program, established in the Budget Act of 2022, which gave over $240 million to city and county police departments to combat increasing crime, with the current funding cycle from Oct. 1, 2023, through June 1, 2027.
In Bakersfield the funds were used to go after auto, cargo, and retail theft, according to the press release.
Other grantees have purchased surveillance equipment, conducted blitz operations, and established task forces, according to departments in charge.
Rudy Blalock

Rudy Blalock


Rudy Blalock is a Southern California-based daily news reporter for The Epoch Times. Originally from Michigan, he moved to California in 2017, and the sunshine and ocean have kept him here since. In his free time, he may be found underwater scuba diving, on top of a mountain hiking or snowboarding—or at home meditating, which helps fuel his active lifestyle.

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Travis Gillmore

Travis Gillmore


Travis Gillmore is an avid reader and journalism connoisseur based in California covering finance, politics, the State Capitol, and breaking news for The Epoch Times.

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